Major Recruitment Drive signals New Era

Wingates Band New Players

Wingates Band are proud to welcome 11 new players to the band.

We’ve had a busy couple of months at Wingates Band, but we are so excited to finally introduce you to our new additions! Our new players have been settling in over the last couple of months, taking part in our special recordings in memory of the Queen, performing at a festival in Hulton Park, preparing new repertoire for Wingates Band’s 150th anniversary next year and preparing for our appearance at the Scottish Open later in the year. So, without further ado, let us introduce our new players.

Joining our back row cornet section on Second Cornet, we welcomed Aidan Grant. Aidan is from Sale and has played for a variety of brass bands including Sales Brass, the Greater Manchester Youth Brass Band, where he performed on Principal Cornet at Bridgewater Hall and, most recently, the Tyldesley Band. Away from brass bands, Aidan also plays the trumpet with other ensembles, including swing bands and orchestras.

We welcomed Ben Russon to our bass section, who joined us from Wardle Anderson Brass Band, whom he has played with for the last 7 years. Ben is an accomplished, young tuba player who brings a wealth of experience to the section ,having performed with winning bands at the European Youth Championships and Whit Friday Youth Band section. He’s already performed at some of the most prestigious venues, including the Royal Albert Hall, Symphony Hall, the Sage at Gateshead, Kneller Hall and the Auditorium Stravinsky in Switzerland, to name a few. His talent has earned him a range of prizes, including the Tom Atkinson memorial trophy for best tuba and his most recent achievement is becoming Principal Tuba of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

Alongside Ben Russon, we welcomed Phil Boardman to our bass section. Phil is no stranger to the band having depped for us a number of times and we’re thrilled he accepted our invitation to join the band permanently.

Talented horn player Alice Clarke was our next young star to join our ranks, taking the Solo Horn seat. Also a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, Alice joined us from Whitworth Vale and Healey Band. Alice started her musical journey at the age of 7, rising through the ranks of the Rochdale Music Service ensembles. She played with the National Children’s Band of Great Britain, from 2017 before joining the National Youth Brass Band in 2020. Speaking about her appointment, Alice said:

“I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to play Solo Horn at Wingates Band. I am grateful to Whitworth Vale and Healey Band and Rochdale Music Service for supporting me to achieve the level of playing required for this and I’m excited about working with Andrea and the rest of the Wingates team.”

Four new signings completed our euphonium and baritone sections, starting with Alex Barron who joins us on Solo Euphonium. Alex is a third year undergraduate at the RNCM, where he is under the tuition of David Thornton. Alex has been performing with championship section bands for over four years as both Solo Euphonium of Marsden Silver Prize Band and as Second Euphonium for City of Bradford Brass. Alex has also performed as the Principal Euphonium for the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. Alex has most recently played with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band before joining Wingates.

On Second Euphonium, we welcomed Lou Semmens. A graduate of the RNCM, Lou has played for a range of brass bands including Foden’s Youth, Horwich RMI and, most recently, Eccles Borough Band, before joining Wingates. She is currently studying for her PGCE alongside performing with the band.

We welcomed Joshua Fleming to the band, who took up the Solo Baritone role. Originally from Washington D.C., Joshua is currently pursuing his Master of Music Performance in Euphonium and Baritone at the Royal Northern College of Music, under the guidance of Steven Mead and David Thornton. Prior to his studies at the RNCM, Joshua was teaching Instrumental Music in Montgomery County Public Schools and performing with the Rockville Brass Band as their Principal Baritone. When asked about taking the Solo Baritone seat, Joshua said:

“I’m excited for my first experience performing in the Championship section with the Wingates Band!”

On Second Baritone, we were delighted to welcome back Marrianne Garbutt to the band. Hailing from Scotland, Marrianne rejoins us from Grimethorpe Colliery Band. An alumni of Salford University, Marrianne studied Band Musicianship, before going on to complete a Masters in Performance. As well as the Wingates Band, Marrianne has also performed with Besses o’th’ Barn, the Hammonds Band and Pemberton Old Wigan Band.

Our trombone rank has also been strengthened with Matt Shaw joining on Second Trombone. Matt joins Wingates having spent the majority of the last 10 years playing for Eccles Borough Band on Bass Trombone, Eb Bass and Solo Trombone under their conductor, Mareika Gray and having successfully conducted a number of bands in the North West. Matt studied with Adrian Morris at the RNCM on bass trombone and previous career highlights include playing with the Halle Orchestra, undertaking an RNCM orchestral tour to Milan, directing a band to 3rd place at the North West Area, 5th at the Finals and conducting ‘Paganini Variations’ at Rochdale Contest. Away from playing, Matt is also an internationally recognised composer, publishing his works under his brand Nova Vocem. He has won competitions in the USA and achieved a finalist position in the Cory Composition Contest. The band have enjoyed playing a selection of his arrangements, since his appointment.

Finally, we were thrilled to welcome two fantastic percussionists to the band. First was Cat Rhodes, who brings 10 years of experience playing Kit, 7 years of percussion experience and a Grade 8 certification. As well as joining Wingates Band, Cat is a member of a range of ensembles, including Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra, Wigan Youth Percussion Ensemble, Wigan Youth Brass Band, Greater Manchester Youth Band and her college band. She has also previously been a member of Wigan Youth Concert Band and Wigan Youth Orchestra. Cat is no stranger to prestigious performances, having played with Global Grooves at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant in London.

Our second addition to the percussion section and most recent signing, is RNCM student Nalni Chen. Nalni is a pianist, cellist and percussionist from Taiwan, who is currently in her second year of the GRNCM joint course at the RNCM and University of Manchester. Nalni has been playing percussion since the age of four and has won several percussion solo prizes including second place in the Taiwan International Music Competition. Being an experienced orchestral musician, this is her first time in a British Brass Band and, in her own words, she’s really enjoying it so far!

Speaking about our new appointments, our Chairman Andy Mooney said:

“On behalf of the band, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new, talented players who are joining us at Wingates Band. I hope you enjoy playing with the band and are looking forward to the new projects and concerts we have planned – welcome aboard!


We’re thrilled to have a wealth of talent joining the band and we’re still on the lookout for more. We have a couple of vacancies left to complete our lineup, namely we are on the lookout for a couple of cornet players and another percussionist. If you’re looking for a new opportunity to challenge yourself and are looking for a friendly band with a busy calendar, get in touch with us in confidence, either via our Facebook page or emailing:

Categories: News


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